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Publication numberUS4927382 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 07/249,763
Publication dateMay 22, 1990
Filing dateSep 21, 1988
Priority dateNov 3, 1987
Fee statusLapsed
Also published asEP0314949A1, EP0314949B1
Publication number07249763, 249763, US 4927382 A, US 4927382A, US-A-4927382, US4927382 A, US4927382A
InventorsAnton Huber
Original AssigneeSiemens Aktiengesellschaft
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical function group for a vehicle
US 4927382 A
Abstract
In an electrical function group, a useful circuit having electrical module units is electrically connected via a plug-type connector. The plug-type connector is equipped with a longer and with a shorter contact pin, so that the shorter contact pin separates first when the plug-type connector comes apart. The longer contact pin is a useful contact that closes the useful circuit and the shorter contact pin is a signal contact that closes a signal circuit. The signal circuit contains a monitoring arrangement that generates an alarm when the signal circuit is parted by the signal contact. As a result thereof, an incipient parting event of the plug-type connector is recognized before the useful circuit is separated.
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Claims(4)
I claim:
1. An electrical function group for a vehicle comprising a useful circuit that contains at least two electrical module units that are connected via a plurality of electrical plug-type connectors each comprising a plug part and a socket part whereby said plug part has at least one useful contact comprising a longer contact pin and at least one signal contact comprising a shorter contact pin, and said socket part has at least two contact sleeves for frictional acceptance of said contact pins, and further comprising a signal circuit being conducted serially through said plurality of electrical plug-type connectors that contains a monitoring means being conducted via the signal contact, said monitoring means generating an alarm given an interruption of said signal circuit due to a parting of the signal contact in any one of said plug-type connectors.
2. An electrical function group according to claim 1, wherein said monitoring means comprises a microprocessor.
3. An electrical function group for a vehicle comprising:
a useful circuit containing at least two modules connected by a plurality of plug-type connectors;
said connectors each having a plug part with a long useful circuit pin and a short signal pin and a socket part with a contact sleeve for frictionally receiving each of said pins;
a signal circuit containing a monitoring means and a reference potential connected serially by said plurality of plug-type connectors, and
an alarm means operated by said signal circuit upon a detection by said monitoring means of a break in the connection between said monitoring means and said reference potential.
4. An electrical arrangement for a vehicle comprising at least one useful circuit connecting two electrical module units via a respective electrical plug-type connector, the plug-type connector comprising a plug part and a socket part, said plug part having two spaced signal contacts and at least one useful contact disposed between said signal contacts, said useful contact comprising a longer contact pin and said two signal contacts each comprising a shorter contact pin, and said socket part having at least three contact sleeves for frictional acceptance of said contact pins, said arrangement further comprising a signal series circuit including a monitoring means for generating an alarm and said signal contacts and the respective sleeves in which said signal contacts are accepted, said monitoring means generating an alarm given an interruption of said signal series circuit due to a parting of either of said signal contacts.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to an electrical function group for a vehicle comprising a useful circuit that contains at least two electrical module units that are connected via at least one electrical plug-type connector comprising a plug part and a socket part whereby the plug part has at least one useful contact comprising a longer contact pin and at least one signal contact comprising a shorter contact pin, and the socket part has at least two contact sleeves for frictional acceptance of the contact pins.

Numerous electrical modular units are situated in vehicles and are electrically connected to one another via plug-type connectors. For example, this can be an incandescent lamp that is connected to a voltage source via a plug-type connector.

When such a plug-type connector comes apart, then the electrical modular units connected thereover are no longer functional. Given safety-related systems such as, for example, a motor vehicle air bag trigger circuit, this represents a risk for the persons conveyed therein. In other systems such as ignition control devices for internal combustion engines, motor damage can occur that involves expensive repair work.

In order to counter these risks, a continuous operational monitoring of such systems is not adequate, since a plug-connector that has in fact come apart is immediately recognized but the disadvantageous effects thereof have already occurred.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to monitor an electrical plug-type connector such that a parting event of the plug-type connector is recognized before the actual useful circuit that connects the electrical module units to one another is parted.

This object is achieved by the present invention in that a signal circuit that contains a monitoring means is conducted via the signal contact and in that the monitoring means generates an alarm given an interruption of the signal circuit due to a parting of the signed contact.

The solution of the invention uses a plug-type connector that is composed of a plug part comprising contact pins and a socket part comprising contact sleeves for the acceptance of the contact pins. The plug part has at least one useful contact that is composed of a long contact pin via which the electrical module units are connected in a useful circuit. In addition, the plug part has at least one signal contact that is composed of a short contact pin. When the plug-type connector is placed together, thus, the useful contacts come into electrical communication with the corresponding contact sleeves of the socket part before the signal contact. With the plug-type connector parts, by contrast, the signal contact separates before the useful contacts.

Such a plug-type connector is known from other technological fields. German published application No. 32 12 983 discloses a detachable plug that comprises two long high-tension current contact pins, this power current circuit being switched on and off via the low-tension current contact pin with the assistance of a semiconductor switch. The formation of an arc when the plug is parted is thereby prevented since the power circuit is already disconnected before the high-tension power contact pins separate.

In the inventive application of such a plug-type connector, there is no interactive connection of the circuits conducted via the short signal contact and the long useful contact. Here, the short signal contact is part of a signal circuit that contains a monitoring means that checks whether the signal circuit is closed via the signal contact. When this is not the case, then the monitoring circuit outputs an alarm. This can be optically or acoustically displayed, so that the operator of the motor vehicle is made aware of the parting plug-type connector before the useful circuit is interrupted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention shall be set forth with reference to the figures; shown are:

FIG. 1 is an electrical function group constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is an electrical module unit including a plug part constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic circuit diagram of two electrical modules of the type shown in FIG. 2 connected together.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a useful circuit comprising two electrical module units 31, 32, this useful circuit being closed via lines, and an electrical plug-type connector composed of a plug part 1 and of a socket part 2 that is shown in its parted condition.

The electrical module units 31, 32 represent arbitrary electrical parts of units used in vehicles that are electrically connected to one another via plug-type connectors.

The plug part 1 of the plug-type connector has a long useful contact 11 that is accepted by a correspondingly long contact sleeve 21 of the socket part 2 when the plug-type connector is placed together. When placed together, retaining noses 23 of the socket part 2 engage over the plug part 1 and catch in corresponding notches 13 of the plug part 1 in the closed position.

The plug part 1 also has a signal contact 12 that is shorter than the useful contact 11 and that is accepted by a contact sleeve 22 of the socket part 2 in the closed position of the plug-type connector. A signal circuit is closed via this signal contact 12, whereby the signal contact 12 is connected to ground and the contact sleeve 22 is connected to a monitoring means 4. The monitoring means 4 is a microprocessor that continuously checks whether the ground potential is adjacent via the plug-type connector.

When the plug-type connector comes apart, the signal contact 12 first separates out of the contact sleeve 22 of the socket part 2. As a result thereof, the grounded potential is no longer adjacent at the microprocessor and the latter generates an alarm W. This alarm W effects the lighting of a warning lamp (not shown in FIG. 1) that draws the attention of the vehicle operator to the separating plug-type connector. The operator can then perform appropriate operations before the useful circuit is separated via the long useful contact 11.

Given a plurality of plug-type connectors to be monitored, the individual signal contacts 12 can be interconnected in series in a signal circuit. A separate input to the microprocessor is therefore not required for every plug-type connector.

As electrical module unit 33, FIG. 2 shows a control device comprising a plug part lA attached to the housing. The useful contacts 11A here are arranged side-by-side as blade contacts in the form of a blade strip. Respective signal contacts 12A likewise fashioned as blade contacts are situated to the right and left next to the useful contacts 11A. The signal contacts 12A are connected to the same signal circuit in series. If, for example, only the left-hand signal contact 12A in FIG. 2 were present, then a parting of the plug-type connector due to oblique pull-off would not be recognized in time. If, namely, a plug-on socket part were shorn off toward the left by a mechanical influence, then the electrical connection would already be parted, particularly given the useful contacts 11A lying at the right, before the signal contact 12A lying at the left would part. This, however, is prevented by arranging a signal contact 12A at each side of the plug part lA.

In FIG. 3, the module 33 is schematically shown connected to a mating module 34 having contact sleeves 22A in which the contact pins 12A are respectively received. The useful contact pins and sleeves are omitted for clarity. As can be seen, a series circuit is formed between ground and the monitoring means 4, so that if either of the signal contact connections is parted, the series circuit will be interrupted and the monitoring means 4 will no longer be connected to ground, thereby causing the alarm W to be generated.

The employment of two or more signal contacts 12A is not limited only to the embodiment of FIG. 2. Multi-pole, concentric plug-and-socket connectors of a symmetrically shaped plug-type connector can likewise be monitored. The arrangement of the individual signal contacts 12A is thereby dependent on the geometry of the plug-type connector. These are arranged at a distance from one another such that, given a parting of the plug-type connector due to a canted pull-off, the electrical connection of one of the signal contacts 12A is interrupted first in every case.

As is apparent from the foregoing specification, the invention is susceptible of being embodied with various alterations and modifications which may differ particularly from those that have been described in the preceding specification and description. It should be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3960428 *Apr 7, 1975Jun 1, 1976International Telephone And Telegraph CorporationElectrical connector
US4084875 *Jan 10, 1975Apr 18, 1978International Telephone And Telegraph CorporationElectrical connector
US4346419 *Apr 27, 1981Aug 24, 1982Clairol IncorporatedDetachable plug
DE3212983A1 *Apr 7, 1982Nov 11, 1982Bristol Myers CoAbziehbarer stecker
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5034727 *Nov 17, 1989Jul 23, 1991Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaMonitor system for a connection of a connector in an electric system of a motor vehicle
US5345221 *Jun 2, 1992Sep 6, 1994John Michael PonsArm alarm system
US5494463 *Dec 10, 1993Feb 27, 1996Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd.Electrical connector having a plurality of effectively arranged contacts
US5554049 *Aug 19, 1993Sep 10, 1996Woodhead Industries, Inc.For coupling a first and second male connector
US5572395 *Dec 21, 1993Nov 5, 1996International Business Machines CorporationFor hot-plugging into a card slot
US5600108 *Aug 29, 1994Feb 4, 1997Bed-Check CorporationDocking module enclosure including connectors and power switching
US5655916 *Mar 31, 1995Aug 12, 1997Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.For maintaining and indicating a proper connection
US6452114Sep 15, 2000Sep 17, 2002Hubbell IncorporatedPlug-in circuit board with reduced insertion force
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US6683273Nov 9, 2001Jan 27, 2004Thermal Dynamics CorporationQuick disconnect having a make-break timing sequence
US6713711Nov 9, 2001Mar 30, 2004Thermal Dynamics CorporationPlasma arc torch quick disconnect
US7021950 *Apr 8, 2004Apr 4, 2006Lear CorporationSystem and method for preventing electric arcs in connectors feeding power loads and connector used
US7850482 *Nov 17, 2008Dec 14, 2010John Mezzalingua Associates, Inc.Coaxial connector with integrated mating force sensor and method of use thereof
US7896658 *Jul 14, 2008Mar 1, 2011Nec CorporationApparatus and method for adjusting position of electronic component
US7909637 *Oct 15, 2009Mar 22, 2011John Mezzalingua Associates, Inc.Coaxial connector with integrated mating force sensor and method of use thereof
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US8376774Dec 13, 2010Feb 19, 2013Rochester Institute Of TechnologyPower extracting device and method of use thereof
US8400318Mar 26, 2010Mar 19, 2013John Mezzalingua Associates, Inc.Method for determining electrical power signal levels in a transmission system
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US8419464Dec 13, 2010Apr 16, 2013Ppc Broadband, Inc.Coaxial connector with integrated molded substrate and method of use thereof
US8570178Dec 9, 2010Oct 29, 2013Ppc Broadband, Inc.Coaxial cable connector with internal floating ground circuitry and method of use thereof
US8604936Dec 13, 2010Dec 10, 2013Ppc Broadband, Inc.Coaxial cable connector, system and method of use thereof
US8618944Dec 13, 2010Dec 31, 2013Ppc Broadband, Inc.Coaxial cable connector parameter monitoring system
US8773255Mar 31, 2011Jul 8, 2014Ppc Broadband, Inc.Status sensing and reporting interface
WO2000045471A1 *Jan 26, 2000Aug 3, 2000Rover GroupA transmission line interconnection module
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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/490, 340/687, 439/924.1
International ClassificationH01R13/641, G08B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/641
European ClassificationH01R13/641
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 4, 1998FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 19980527
May 24, 1998LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Feb 14, 1998REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Oct 28, 1993FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Sep 21, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, BERLIN AND MUNICH, GER
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HUBER, ANTON;REEL/FRAME:004962/0036
Effective date: 19880901
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUBER, ANTON;REEL/FRAME:004962/0036
Owner name: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, A CORP. OF GERMANY, GE